Evolution of depressions on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko: Role of ice metamorphism

Kossacki KJ, Leliwa-Kopystyński J, Szutowicz S.


184(1), 2006, 221-238, 10.1016/j.icarus.2006.04.018

This work is intended to investigate the influence of temperature-dependent metamorphism of ice on the shape of small depressions in the surface of cometary nuclei. We are mainly interested in the role of initial cohesivity of a nucleus. For this purpose we simulate sublimation of ice from the facets of initially cylindrical depressions in ice of different initial structure. The simulations account for the diurnal and orbital changes of insolation and its dependence on the current shape of the depressions. Our model includes heat transport in the cometary material and metamorphism of ice. We present the results obtained for the nucleus of the Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, target of the ESA cornerstone mission Rosetta.